American health officials agree on urgent measures to restore gains lost during pandemic

BUENOS AIRES, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) — The 60th Directorate Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) concluded today with the adoption of 12 resolutions, guidelines and strategies to strengthen health policies and programs and the gains lost during the COVID crisis to restore -19 pandemic.

“Although we have put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, we must not let up,” the continental organization’s director, Jarbas Barbosa, urged America’s ministers and top health officials.

“We must use this situation as an opportunity to accelerate actions aimed at restoring lost gains and increasing the resilience of our health systems,” he added, according to a PAHO statement.

The 12 resolutions, policies and strategies of the 60th Board of Directors include strengthening human resources for health to create resilient health systems, improving mental health and suicide prevention, and preventing and controlling noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) among children, adolescents and young people People.

Barbosa stressed during the deliberations the importance of countries in the region engaging in efforts to improve their preparedness and response to future pandemics and public health emergencies.

In addition, he called on PAHO member states to “actively participate in the debates” of the World Health Organization (WHO) Intergovernmental Negotiating Body, which is responsible for drafting and negotiating a new instrument against pandemics as well as proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR ).

The 60th Directorate Council took place from September 25 to today and spanned several consecutive days in which delegates discussed efforts to improve pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

Five final reports on eliminating neglected infectious diseases were also presented during the 60th Board; Tobacco Control in America; strengthening key statistics; chronic kidney disease in agricultural communities in Central America; and health and tourism.

“We all agree that while we continue to build on our shared successes, there is still much work to be done to address ongoing health challenges,” noted the PAHO Director.